VimpelCom announces further managerial changes

VimpelCom has announced that Mikhail Slobodin will become chief executive of its Russia business unit, with Anton Kudryashov promoted to the role of chief business development and portfolio officer for the entire company.

Slobodin joins VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) from energy company TNK-BP (Moscow, Russia), where he was executive vice president of strategy and new business development, and takes up his new position in the telecoms industry immediately.

VimpelCom has announced that Mikhail Slobodin will become chief executive of its Russia business unit, with Anton Kudryashov promoted to the role of chief business development and portfolio officer for the entire company.

Slobodin joins VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) from energy company TNK-BP (Moscow, Russia), where he was executive vice president of strategy and new business development, and takes up his new position in the telecoms industry immediately.

“Mikhail is an accomplished and recognized leader with many significant achievements in his career,” said Jo Lunder, VimpelCom’s chief executive. “We welcome him to VimpelCom and I look forward to successful implementation of the already launched strategic initiatives to the further growth of our Russian business under his guidance.”

The operator recently blamed a mixture of competition and regulation – as well as adverse foreign exchange movements – for a slight dip in second-quarter earnings, but managed to grow net profit by 17% thanks to cost controls.

Although it has lagged its rivals on the deployment of mobile broadband networks, it also said it expected to be “on par in quality with its competitors in key strategic regions by the end of the year”.

On an annualized basis, the operator has recently invested about 17% of its revenues in capital expenditure but said it would increase that figure to about 20% over the course of 2013 as it continues to make network improvements in Russia.

Meanwhile, Kudryashov will move into his new role on October 14, taking responsibility for the Group’s overall business development, including its strategy regarding mergers and acquisitions.

“I am very pleased that Anton has accepted our offer to join the Group executive board,” said Jo Lunder, VimpelCom’s chief executive. “Under his strong leadership our business in Russia has reversed the negative trends of the previous years and has significantly strengthened its market position, through closing the gaps in products and services as well as successfully launching and executing key strategic projects aimed at improving the efficiency of the operations and achieving a superior customer experience.”

News of the appointments comes shortly after VimpelCom revealed that Andrew Davies has joined as chief financial officer from Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA), where he held the same position.